Mailbox alert: Stewie Griffin is back with an Arsenal reality check

Arsenal's Thomas Partey during the match against Wolves. Credit: Alamy
Arsenal's Thomas Partey during the match against Wolves. Credit: Alamy

Long-term Mailbox fans will love that Stewie Griffin is back. There’s other stuff too but let’s face it, this is what we want to read.

Thanks to all for the excellent mails. Send yours to theeditor@football365.com

 

Did Stewie make a bet?
Reading Simon Norf London Gooner’s email and his mention of sad sack Stewie reminds me. Wasn’t there a mention of a hat or some such being eaten if Arsenal made top 4, or am I imagining it? Have I also just tempted fate?
Andrew Goonerabroad Brown

 

And here comes the man himself
Oh dear Arsenal fans. I find it revealing, hilarious and quite cute how a nice run (that has seen Arsenal win nada), is all it has taken for the usual cheerleaders to declare victory.

This reminds me of the time Trump supporters wanted election votes to stop being counted when it looked like he had a lead. We are IN JANUARY. Christ almighty the way some Arsenal fans are going on, it’s the end of April and Arsenal gave an unassailable lead.

�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

I love thé obsession with calling out for my name though, shows an unhealthy obsession. There’s therapists for that lads!

Let’s not be facetious here – Arsenal are doing superbly so far. They’re exceeding the very low bar that Wenger had implemented for years. Arteta is so far this season, doing excellent work. Anyone who can keep up with Pep is a top manager no doubt.

Now for the reality check.

– It is January. Arsenal have a razor-thin squad that hasn’t been addressed

– Arsenal needed Mudryk. The fans knew this, the club knew this. Other big clubs go out and get business done, whereas Arsenal continue to behave like a local Poundland. The club obviously used Mudryk’s desire to join as a means to lowball. Same tactic used with Douglas Luiz. I don’t want to hear bollocks about “principles” from the same club that wanted £30m for Nketiah when Palace wanted to sign him. Please.

– Citeh will go on their usual win-streak and pull clear sooner or later

– Newcastle can bring St Maximin off the bench. In fact most PL teams have superior bench attacking options. Why are Arsenal’s so scant?

Now. I understand that many Arsenal fans are enjoying the street parades (bit cold in Jan lads) but nothing is won in January.

One last thing that is definitely not lost on me though, is all the pathetic apologist excuse-making cheerleaders who spent years blaming Wenger’s incompetence between 2006 and the time of his sacking in 2020, on Stan Kroenke. Remember all the anti-Kroenke protests? Remember the Emirates placards? The letters into the 365 mailbox cksiking Kroenke was killing the club? Remember the “Stan Kroenke get out of our club”? Hmmm funny because I said it at the time: Kroenke was NEVER the problem. He always provided funds and gave managers autonomy. The problem was the manager (Wenger cough) was f***** rubbish!

It is hilarious because these days all you ever hear from Arsenal fans is how “well run” the club is, how “outstanding” the vision is etc. So tell me folks, is Kroenke no longer in charge?

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�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy
�� Credit: Alamy

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In summary: Arsenal are doing well but I think the sign of small-minded fans is the huge celebrations taking place in…January. I totally understand fans of eg Leicester being this giddy in January. Less so, Arsenal. I mean in this very mailbox one Arsenal fan tried to compare a potential Arsenal PL title to Leicester. Yeah cos Leicester had spent hundreds of millions of quid over three years on transfers and wages hahaha.

I’m not being Richard Keys and saying don’t celebrate. Arsenal fans should enjoy this day in the sun, it’s unexpected. What they absolutely shouldn’t be doing though, is acting as if a run that sees them top, suddenly erases the fact that for 16 years, the club has been a punchline, a Xmas cracker joke. 8-2 at ManYoo. 10-2 Bayern. 15-3 Pep on aggregate. Fans walking out at halftime of a league cup final (remember those good times under Arsene though eh! Hehe) etc.

This purple patch of six months doesn’t undo that Loser culture, although credit to Arteta for being someone who doesn’t celebrate 4th as a “trophy”. He’s been clear you need standards and fair play to him.

When Arsenal actually win the PL title, by all means give it large. But I’ll remind those at the back that Arsenal have had better leads in deeper stages of PL seasons past, and ended up 4th. And we all laughed at Liverpool last season after the Fake Quadruple.

So Gooners, I’m looking very much forward to hearing in May how another year without a league title, and finishing 4th is a “magnificent achievement”. The bar never stops lowering. Arsenal’s insufficient performance in the past two transfer windows (no midfielder to deputise for Partey in summer and no attacking plan for winter window), should see to that.

But yeah I’ll eat humble pie when Arsenal finish 4th and trophyless this season. That’ll show me!
Stewie Griffin (Kroenke Out! Oh wait…)

 

The Premier League is heating up
– Heading in to the Crystal Palace game, suddenly as a UTD fan I’m feeling odd and nervous. All the positive talk about the club and how we have been revitalised and how we are in a title challenge as if top 4 has already been secured and how ETH is a genius, it all makes me feel something is going to hit us badly. Crucial week this by the end of which everything could go downhill.

– Similarly by the end of this week, Newcastle could leapfrog both us and City if results go a certain way. Meaning they should also be considered in the title mix. Having played a game more, they are also just one point off City at this juncture and are certainly in the race.

– At the other end of the table though it is unbelievably close. All the bottom three are on 15 points and trail 14th placed Leeds only by 2 points. Predicting the relegation places is going to be fun as no team is far off the pace.

– Which brings me to my final point as to how are Leicester and Brendan Rodgers getting away with their current run. Didn’t see them mentioned in the Losers section after going down 2-0 to Forest in the weekend. How is Rodgers not even mentioned in the sack race. They could be in the bottom 3 this weekend.

All in all an absolute belter of a week to come in the Premier League.
Vasanthan, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India

 

You know Liverpool didn’t win it all, right?
Why do so many Liverpool fans refer to last season as the season “where we nearly won it all”? The fact remains that you didn’t win it all and by referring to last season in such a fashion means that you’re demeaning the fact that you won two domestic trophies. What’s wrong with that? It’s bloody good, imo. I know both trophies were won on penalties but that’s not really the point.

Twice, your captain lifted those nice shiny trophies that almost every club would give their eye teeth for. If you dropped the entitled views and opinions and couched last season in those terms, then it would sound more impressive. Be proud, you won the League Cup and the FA Cup…and that’s worth shouting about. Don’t widdle on your own chips, eh?

To John Matrix AFC, can get your Northern vernacular correct, please? Having married a scouser, I’ve been forced to go to Liverpool on many, many occasions over the years and I’ve never heard any scouser say “give your head a wobble” . However, in Manchester…it’s every day currency.

To Kevin, you need to search the near memory banks. City reached and lost the 2021 Champions League final against Chelsea after Pep had another one of his mad team selection brain farts. When you’re trying to make a point about various items, it lessens the point you’re trying to make when you’re so obviously wrong on other points. It’s called ‘credibility’.

Oh and by the way, it definitely WAS offside. Categorically, so. “The linesman was right, Attwell’s shite”. I’m glad I’ve cleared that up.

Just trying to help.
Levenshulme Blue, Manchester19

 

Alderweireld > Romero
Joe, AFC does raise a good point. I have often read or been told that Romero is mustard, and I do enjoy a rough tackle (name of my sex tape), but he’s nowhere near the level Alderwiereld was for example.

God he was good, wasn’t he. My mum got to hand him the player of the season award at the end of the season once. On the pitch. Not that I’m bitter. Much.
Jon (City next! Joy), Lincoln

Toby Alderweireld Tottenham Credit: Alamy
Toby Alderweireld Tottenham Credit: Alamy

 

Boehly ball
Now Chelsea are sniffing around Trossard from Brighton. Ever get the feeling Todd Boely’s transfer strategy might be “To hell with midfielders and defenders; if I snatch up all the loose forwards, no one else can have ’em!”
Ebrahim (getting less like a football league and more like an 80s soap with every passing season), MUFC, Seattle

 

Thanks Graham
Just writing in after reading yesterday’s mailbox and I just want to extend my thanks to Graham the Norf London Gooner.

I’m a man in my 40’s so the days of a football result actively affecting me are long gone but obviously I’ve supported Chelsea my whole life and will continue to. This season has been a disaster and we’ve genuinely helped the league out by sacking Tuchel and appointing Potter and it’s clearly not going well.

Graham has an amazing habit of writing in about how much he hates Chelsea and how irrelevant we’ve become. These messages are always followed by Chelsea winning the Europa League, Champions league, going deep into Europe and various cup finals etc so it’s warmed my heart to see that we’re going to go on one of those runs again.

As I unfortunately live in prime gooner land I’d just like to say thanks neighbour.
Lee, Hornsey

 

Cherry-picking our sports washing
I feel like I’m becoming some crazy conspiracy theorist maybe I need to see someone about this! So firstly, I apologies if I upset anyone.

However, I was intrigued to read that £22m of the Chelsea fee being paid to Shakhtar Donestsk for Mykhailo Mujdryk was pledged to the Ukraine war effort.

This seemed strange to me as Shakhtar Donestsk are a for profit corporation that have fell on hard times due to the atrocities that are happening in the Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

So, when I looked at the direct statement from Shakhtar Donestsk to me it reads as two separate statements. Firstly, that the club are sad to see Mujdryk leave and a second statement that the president Rinat Akhmetov is making a $25m donation to the Ukraine war effort.

It may seem I’m splitting hairs, but this is important to me at least, the donation is not coming from the club it is coming from the president Rinat Akhmetov. Then if you look into the president, he has what seems like an extremely shady past supposedly linked to organise crime at a senior level. This guy seemingly “inherited” the club from the previous owner (who also had links to organise crime and was seemingly convicted) who was assassinated with several other people in a bomb at the stadium.

To me this seems like the $25m donation is coming directly from the President with the shady past that has supposedly made huge money through illegitimate means, but the western media are incorrectly stating that this money is coming directly from the Chelsea transfer fee.

Is this not sports washing?

For the record people should be donating to humanitarian needs and I encourage everyone to do this however for most UK charities the source of the donation is very important…
Paul K, London

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